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Yet Another Generator Question


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#1 LaSteve

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Posted 17 June 2018 - 03:18 PM

I know...I know. USE THE SEARCH FUNCTION. I have, but I have not found answers to these specific questions.  :wacko:

 

I will be taking delivery of a new SD 17 in August, and I am getting all of my "upgrades" together now, because I will be taking the Casita on a 3 week shakedown in September and early October.

 

I know it comes well equipped for camping with hookups, but also know that I want to go off the grid. I just purchased a Renogy 100W portable solar unit with the Explorer waterproof controller. Waterproof is an absolute necessity in Louisiana. Heck, sometimes we get enough rain in a couple of hours to put the unit completely underwater. (Did you know that Louisiana is usually ranked the #1 state for or greatest annual rainfall in inches/year?) It really gets wet down here.

 

However, I digress. I will be getting the new Mach 8 EZ Polar Cub. I think EZ means it already has the hard/soft start function.

 

Here is the question. How much generator do I need to reliably operate the air conditioner in really harsh conditions?  I mean 100++ degrees. Although, I plan to be in mostly cooler climates in the summer months, I will also use the Casita as a base camp for fishing on the coast in summer or pursuing other interests in equally hot environments. The published data on the Mach 8 EZ Polar Cub indicates the power consumption is 1270 watts for standard running conditions and 1550 watts for "desert" conditions.

 

Right now I'm looking at 3 units, all less than 50 lbs. This is pretty much my upper limit due to multiple back surgeries (I don't want any more) and a really nasty shoulder fracture a couple of years ago.

 

1. A-iPower 1600W Running / 2000W Peak generator from Costco ($499). With the Yamaha motor, Costco guarantee, and price, I would really like for this to work. However, the 1600W running watts is pretty close to the stated "desert" requirements of the Mach 8, and if any altitude is factored into the equation it may come up short. I doubt that I could run any other appliances, or even charge the battery at the same time.

 

2. The new Honda 1800/2200. The 1800 running watts would certainly give a "cushion" to keep the Mach 8 running on max in extreme conditions, and may provide some battery charge, but at the price, I'm not sure it is the best option. Still, I can afford the $999 and the Honda service record is nothing to easily dismiss.

 

3. The Westinghouse iGen 2500. About the same weight as the other generators and available on Amazon for $599. This should give plenty of extra power to keep Mach 8 running in the harshest of conditions, and even provide enough extra for battery charge, lights, or maybe to operate a 600 watt microwave. I've found that when the temp is >100 degrees, I really want an inside cooking/warming solution that doesn't require that I heat up the trailer or stand outside in the sweltering heat while being devoured by mosquitos. However, I'm really not sure of the service record on this unit or its suitability for really hot conditions. I believe there was a recall last year because the units were running too hot...not good in 100++ temps.

 

I am just looking for some insight and opinions.

 

Thanks!

 

Steve

 

 

 



#2 Jim&Clare

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Posted 17 June 2018 - 04:13 PM

....However, the 1600W running watts is pretty close to the stated "desert" requirements of the Mach 8, and if any altitude is factored into the equation it may come up short.....

 

 

 

Hi Steve,

 

I can be of no real help here - other that to calm your fears about altitude and desert conditions.  They are mutually exclusive, so if you are at any significant altitude, it WILL be cooler.

 

I am sat in Tucson right now.  Its nearly 100 degrees in the valley.  We just came down from Mt Lemmon.  It was low 60s up there at 8000 ft.

 

Cheers,

 

Jim


Edited by Jim&Clare, 17 June 2018 - 04:14 PM.

Retired from Orbital Machine Works

Happily running around in a 2002 Bigfoot 17

Where is Jim now?


#3 Hot Toddy

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Posted 17 June 2018 - 05:04 PM

I have a Champion 2,300W generator and even though it runs great and has no trouble powering our AC, I cannot run our Breville Smart Oven and the hot water heater simultaneously. That is probably not a great comparison, but did want you to have some perspective.

I would suggest that you look at the Ryobi 2,300W unit from Home Depot while you are in your reconnaissance phase. I believe it sells for around $600.

Best of luck!

Toddy

#4 CC-John

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Posted 17 June 2018 - 06:12 PM

After dealing with portable generators with two previous stick-builts, I went "whole-hog" on the Casita and installed a REAL RV genset.. It was the best money I spent on this little rig, I have 20+ amps of 120VAC power with the simple push of a button..  Click the link below for details..

 

Onan Genset Install


CC-John

 

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#5 clairemr1

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Posted 18 June 2018 - 04:02 AM

i would highly recommend the honda 2200i. a bit more power than the 2000i, very quiet, light weight, exact dimensions of the 2000, easy to find both replacement parts & service depts throughout the country.

Edited by clairemr1, 18 June 2018 - 04:04 AM.

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claire and merlin, excellent schnoodle

2015 white toyota tacoma

rally host


#6 LaSteve

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Posted 19 June 2018 - 03:20 PM

Hey guys,

 

Thank for the input. Jim, your insight on altitude vs. temperature is well taken.

 

CC-John. I like the idea of the permanent propane genset...I'm just not looking for a "No Tell Motel."  Ha!

 

Claire. I will probably go with the Honda.  At this stage of my life, if I had a generator failure on a trip, the economic value of the time lost would greatly exceed the extra $ value of the Honda over the other options.

 

Thanks!

 

Steve in the State of Atlantis (Louisiana for the uninitiated) 


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#7 flcoxjr

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Posted 19 June 2018 - 03:54 PM

Is this a brand new Casita from the factory? I believe they currently install the Mach 8 Plus Polar Cub. I’ve never heard of a Mach 8 EZ Polar Cub. Casita has included a hard start capacitor for a number of years.

#8 f_stop

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 01:56 AM

You might consider the OMW over the tank generator mount to to minimize that lifting issue. With that you’ll just leave the generator out there and all that’s required is a tug or two to get it started. The only time it needs to be lifted is for oil changes. Very handy when raining as well.

p@
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kurt vonnegut, the sirens of titan

#9 LaSteve

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Posted 21 June 2018 - 03:25 PM

Hey Guys,

 

Thanks for all of the insights. Flcoxjr...you are probably right. Evidently, I saw the EZ label on a website and assumed it was the same as the model currently offered.

 

Whew! This is a tough crowd...But, no complaints!

 

Hope to see you on the road!!

 

p@ - I like your idea, but right now I'm good. However, I have not doubt that "no man beats the clock." In a few years, I expect the wear and tear on my body to become a real issue.

 

I am just planning for the golden  years," ( What a Croc).

 

Steve



#10 Hot Toddy

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Posted 22 June 2018 - 10:29 AM

LaSteve, Home Depot has a nice selection of inverter generators on its website, and some of them are on sale. Here is a Firman 3,000W with remote start and 30A socket - https://www.homedepo...03083/303430934. It comes with a 3-year warranty. They also carry the Honda 2,200, Champion, and that Ryobi I mentioned above. Best of luck!

 

Here is a link to the Champion that I own, although this is a 3,100W and mine is 2,800W - https://www.homedepot.com/p/Champion-Power-Equipment-3-100-Watt-Gasoline-Powered-Recoil-Start-Portable-Generator-with-Parallel-Capability-Inverter-100233/206842511. 

 

I also pulled this off of Home Depot's website for reference purposes.

GeneratorWattageGuide.jpg

 

Toddy



#11 pete_britt

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Posted 25 June 2018 - 06:43 AM

I have a tri-fuel Yamaha 2400 with OMW lockdown plate and over the tans box.  I start out with a full tank of ethanol free gasoline and switch to propane when tank is empty.  I don't have to carry a gasoline can.  It Is nice to be able to nap when the rest stop (or Cabelas, Walmart, Cracker Barrel) is at 100 deg.



#12 clover

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Posted 26 June 2018 - 05:36 AM

I'm with Toddy on this one. You will be running any of the 2000-2200 generators at their very top limit with the AC unit on a 17'. The AC unit on a 13'  or 16' Casita is not nearly the power hog as the unit on the 17'.  

 

I had a Honda 2000 for several years. I babied it all of the time, regular oil changes, aviation gas, kept it in the shade with it's own tent. It finally kicked the bucket. We boondock more than use full hookups and in Texas we have had to run it 24x7 for days and weeks at a time. Also when you go to the mountains (elevation) you will loose a significant amount of power because of the elevation. Now you probably won't be using the AC but if you want to power a toaster, microwave, hair dryer or hot water heater you will struggle.  We used our Honda when skiing at Santa Fe and Taos up on the mountain.

 

We have two Champions now. The 3500-4000 We've run 24/7 for 3 months in 2016 and 24/7 in 2017 plus a lot of long weekends. We now have the Champion 3100 and love it. Either one provides all the power we need without a struggle. 


Happy Trails!
Clover
2003 17' SD
2002 F350 Diesel Crew Cab
(I know it is overkill but we live on a real ranch it takes a vacation with the Casita)


#13 LaSteve

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Posted 27 June 2018 - 02:54 AM

Thanks for all of the valuable advice!  Luckily, I'm not in a hurry.  I just saw that Cabela's is running a big sale on Champion generators.

 

https://www.cabelas....e/112438980.uts

 

I really like the dual fuel models.

 

Steve



#14 clover

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Posted 27 June 2018 - 06:21 AM

The duel fuel is nice. Keep in mind there is reduced power when using propane. 

 

I would not get the remote starting model. It adds significant weight. On both of my Champion generators the pull start is a breeze and I've never had any issues in getting it to start on the first or second pull in all weather conditions. The remote start requires you keep the battery it uses charged up and of course replaced with it is no longer usable. 

 

The fact that Cabela's sells Champion generators says a lot. They don't stock/sell anything of poor quality. There is a line of Champion generators that is re-badged with the Cabela's logo, the Outdoorsman series.

 

 

 

I bought our second Champion from SuperGen Products. They are the largest distributor of Champion products. Free shipping, great 24/7 tech support. 

https://www.supergen...rter-generators


Happy Trails!
Clover
2003 17' SD
2002 F350 Diesel Crew Cab
(I know it is overkill but we live on a real ranch it takes a vacation with the Casita)